Life is a mirror is a term used to describe how people get back what they reflect out.
Some time ago I took the brave step of asking different members of my family, (well the one’s I trusted would give me an honest opinion) and friends what I complained about in others.
This list is what came out:
People’s lack of patience, tolerance, kindness, and honesty. People always blaming others, being selfish and having an uncaring attitude.
I needed to reflect on this information, so, one evening alone with no distractions I sat down and asked myself:
When was the last time I behaved with all of the above values? I couldn’t think?
(This got me thinking of when was the last time I did something for the first time, it felt uncomfortable but I felt ‘awake’ when I did it)
Was I truly reflecting those values that I wished others would reflect?
After some soul searching the simple answer no I wasn’t. I talked the talk but didn’t walk the walk! Painful discovery but valued the learning I gleaned from it.
I’d literally discovered ‘what we complain about in others is what we find within ourselves.’
It’s said to feel harmonious or ‘whole’ is to think, feel and act in accordance with our beliefs and values. If this is true which I believe it is then it’s no surprise I was in conflict with myself and so inevitably caused conflict in others (remember we get back what we give out)
At first I thought what a hypocrite am I! But then forgave myself pretty quickly because after all we can’t change what we can’t see!
During this ‘difficult’ exercise of self-exploration I noticed something that really bothered me and I realised what I really disliked was being ignored or others being ignored.
I looked up this word in the English dictionary and this is what it came up with:
Refuse to take notice of or Acknowledge Pay no heed
Pass over Intentionally disregard
Take no notice Turn a blind eye
Pay no attention Push aside
This reminded me of what Mindfulness is all about which is the complete opposite of ignore, the list I discovered from mindfulness is:
Pay attention Take Notice See clearly Pay Kind Regards Acknowledge Welcome Pay Heed
So I asked myself another question, What was I ignoring about myself?
Mindful meditation gave me the time and space to find out by seeking the answer within… with surprising results that finally allowed me to live a more calm, authentic and happier life.
We can only learn by experience or asking the right questions so here are some you may want to consider asking
What do I see in the mirror? Is it just how I look or can I see more than that?
What’s your reflection from the inside?
How do others see me?
What am I reflecting out to others about my beliefs, values? does my attitude and behaviour give a true reflection of them?
What am I ignoring or avoiding?
The above are open questions to explore to find out how much we really know our true selves, without judgement or self -criticism.
Always be kind to yourself by just paying attention and noticing. Our beliefs and values are all a product of ‘conditional’ thinking so consider if they are truly yours or someone else’s.
Remember : we can’t change what we can’t see!
(ps have a listen to the words in Michaels Jackson song ‘man in the mirror’ while you contemplate these questions.)
If your beliefs are changing, check you aren’t becoming a reflection of someone else …we absorb information from others easily … make sure you pay attention to who you are listening to!